Daily Office Readings for Week of 2 of Easter; Thursday Year 1
“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler* of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler* of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler* of Abilene, 2during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.” (Luke 3:1-2)
It is in reading this opening of the third chapter of the Gospel of Luke that we learn about what God values. We have the human hierarchy of the Roman Emperor, the regional governor for the Emperor, the puppet king of Galilee, and his brother serving in a nepotistic position as ruler of two minor areas, and yet another self-serving ruler in charge of yet another area. All of these political positions are in place while the spiritual charge was left to two who cared more about their high priestly family status than the needs of the people.
While all of these men reigned in their respective domains, the Word of God goes to a man who has emptied himself of all self-indulgence and human status: this is John the Baptizer, living in the wilderness. There is a lesson here for all of us.
If we are already full of ourselves, there is no room for God. I have heard somewhere that a full cup has no value. It has no value until it is emptied. An empty cup can be filled and therefore has value as a cup – a cup with potential.
We are the same way. If we are full of ourselves or the world, or even the church as it stands apart from Jesus, we are worthless as an instrument for God. Anything God tries to pour into us just rolls off the top.
All of the great ones from Saul of Tarsus to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and others, are who they are, because they emptied themselves of worldly priorities and self serving goals. God needs to make use of you too. But first you must give up devoting yourself to choices that lead to nowhere.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to the people of the Creating Word and then let us “Ponder anew what the Almighty is doing.” John Thomas Frazier Sr.